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Proposal Preparation. NSF Workshop for Sponsored Project Administrators at Hispanic Serving Institutions April 13, 2007- Miami, FL April 20, 2007 – Albuquerque, NM. Ask Early, Ask Often!!. Outline. Finding funding opportunities Searching the NSF web site

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Proposal Preparation

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Proposal preparation

Proposal Preparation

NSF Workshop for Sponsored Project Administrators

at Hispanic Serving Institutions

April 13, 2007- Miami, FL

April 20, 2007 – Albuquerque, NM

Ask early ask often

Ask Early, Ask Often!!



  • Finding funding opportunities

    • Searching the NSF web site

    • “MyNSF” sign up for automatic email notifications

  • Proposal Development Strategies

    • Institutional Projects

    • Individual Investigators

  • Following NSF Guidelines

    • Grant Proposal Guide (GPG)

    • Program solicitations

    • Budget guidelines

Finding funding

Think through your project idea before searching for funding programs.

A good proposal is a good idea, well expressed, with a clear indication of methods for pursuing the idea, evaluating the findings, making them known to all who need to know, and indicating the broader impacts of the activity.

Search by key words or for the appropriate program office.

Finding Funding

Proposal preparation

Proposal preparation

Types of funding opportunities

Types of Funding Opportunities

NSF provides the following types of funding opportunities

  • Program Description

    • Published only on the NSF website.

    • Proposals must follow GPG instructions.

  • Program Announcement

    • Published NSF document describing the program.

    • Proposals must follow GPG instructions.

  • Program Solicitation

    • Published document with additional restrictions and/or requirements.

    • Proposals must follow both the solicitation and the GPG instructions

  • Dear Colleague Letter

    • Notifications of opportunities or special competitions for supplements to existing NSF awards.

Proposal development

Proposal Development

Key Questions

1. What do you intend to do?

2. Why is the work important?

3. What has already been done?

4. How are you going to do the work?

Proposal development strategies

Proposal Development Strategies

  • Determine your long-term research/education goals or plan

  • Develop your bright idea

    • Survey the literature

    • Contact Investigators working on the topic

    • Prepare a brief concept paper

    • Discuss with colleagues/mentors

Proposal development strategies cont d

Proposal Development Strategies (cont’d)

  • Prepare to do the project

    • Determine available resources

    • Realistically assess needs

    • Develop preliminary data

    • Present to colleagues/mentors/students

  • Determine possible funding sources

  • Understand the ground rules

Proposal development strategies cont d1

Proposal Development Strategies (cont’d)

  • Ascertain overall scope and mission

    • Read carefully solicitation instructions

    • Determine where your project fits

    • Ascertain evaluation procedures and criteria

    • Talk with NSF Program Officer:

      • Your proposed project

      • Specific program requirements/limitations

      • Current program patterns

    • Coordinate with your organization’s sponsored projects office

Follow the nsf guidelines

Follow the NSF Guidelines

  • Grant Proposal Guide (GPG)

  • Program solicitation

  • Budget guidelines

Grant proposal guide gpg

Grant Proposal Guide (GPG)

  • Provides guidance for preparation and submission of proposals to NSF;

    • Process for deviations from the GPG

    • Process and criteria by which proposals will be reviewed

    • Reasons why a proposal may be returned without review

    • Reconsideration process

    • Process for withdrawals, returns & declinations

    • Award process and procedures for requesting continued support

    • Significant award and administration processes

    • Budget line item definitions

    • Process for submission of collaborative proposals (subawards and multiple proposals)

Program solicitation key components

Program Solicitation Key Components

  • Goal of the program

  • Deadline(s)

    • No deadline

    • Deadline

    • Target date

    • Submission Window

  • Type of proposal submission

    • Preliminary proposals

      • Invite/not invite

      • Encourage/not encourage

    • Letters of Intent

      • Required

      • Optional

    • Full proposals

Program solicitations key components cont d

Program Solicitations Key Components (cont’d)

  • Eligibility

  • Special proposal preparation requirements

    • For example:

      • Required components within the project description

      • Required Supplementary Documents

  • Special award requirements

    • For example:

      • Additional reporting

      • Attendance at meetings

  • Additional Review Criteria (depends on the program)

Budgetary guidelines

Budgetary Guidelines

  • Amounts

    • Reasonable for work - Realistic

    • Well Justified - Need established

    • In-line with program guidelines

  • Eligible costs

    • Personnel

    • Equipment

    • Travel

    • Participant Support

    • Other Direct Costs (including subawards, consultant services, computer services, publication costs)

Budgetary guidelines cont d

Budgetary Guidelines (cont’d)

  • Call your Program Officer!

  • All funding sources noted in Current and Pending Support

  • Sponsored Projects Offices are resources for proposers on NSF guidelines.

Sections of an nsf proposal

Sections of an NSF Proposal

  • Cover Sheet

  • Project Summary

  • Table of Contents

  • Project Description

  • References Cited

  • Biographical Sketch(es)

  • Budget

  • Current & Pending Support

  • Facilities, Equipment & Other Resources

  • Special Information & Supplementary Documentation

Getting support in proposal writing

NSF Publications

Program Announcements/


Grant Proposal Guide

Web Pages

Funded Project Abstracts

Reports, Special Publications

Targeted Workshops

Program Officers


Former “Rotators”

Mentors on Campus

Previous Panelists

Serve As Reviewer

Sponsored Research Office

Successful Proposals

Getting Support in Proposal Writing

Selected nsf programs of interest

Selected NSF Programs of Interest

Advanced technological education ate

Advanced Technological Education (ATE)

Promotes improvement in undergraduate technological education The program emphasis is on two-year colleges

  • Project areas ($25 to $300 K per year for 3 years):

    • Program Improvement

    • Professional Development for Educators

    • Curriculum and Educational Materials Development

    • Teacher Preparation

    • Small Grants for Institutions new to ATE

  • ATE Centers that provide models and leadership:

    • National Centers of Excellence: $5 million over four years

    • Regional Centers of Excellence: $3 million over four years

    • Resource Centers: $1.5 million over four years

  • Targeted research on technician Education ($100 to $300K per year up to 4 years)

  • Preliminary proposals (optional) due April 26, 2007

  • Full proposals due October 11, 2007

Scholarships in science technology engineering and mathematics s stem

Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM)

  • Institutional grant to support student scholarships for academically talented and financially needy students to complete an associate, baccalaureate, or graduate level degree in science and engineering disciplines.

    • Grantee institutions select scholarship recipients, report demographic information, and manage the S-STEM project.

  • Letter of Intent – October 10, 2007

  • Proposal due date – November 13, 2007

Stem talent expansion program step

STEM Talent Expansion Program (STEP)

Type 1 Projects - Full implementation projects to increase the number of students receiving AA or BA degrees

  • Award size depends on total enrollment of all partner institutions: between $500 K & $2 M

  • Associate degree-granting institutions with a record of articulation to STEM baccalaureate programs need not necessarily grant associate degrees in STEM fields in order to be eligible.

  • Projects that improve the transition of students among the collaborating institutions, such as transfer between two- and four-year institutions are encouraged.

  • Letter of Intent due date expected to be August 2007

  • Full Proposal deadline expected to be September 2007

  • Course curriculum laboratory improvement ccli

    Course, Curriculum & Laboratory Improvement (CCLI)

    Projects should address one or more of the following five components :

    • Conducting research on undergraduate STEM teaching and learning

    • Creating learning materials and teaching strategies

    • Developing faculty expertise

    • Implementing educational innovations

    • Assessing learning and evaluating innovations

      Due May 8 or 9, 2007 (depending on state)

      Phase 1, Exploratory Projects total up to $150 K for 1 - 3 yrs ($200 K for collaborations between 4-year institutions and 2-year institutions)

      Due January 10, 2008

      Phase 2, Expansion Projects total up to $500 K for 2 - 4 yrs

      Phase 3, Comprehensive Projects total up to $2 M for 3 - 5 yrs

    Minority serving community college mscc research teams

    Minority Serving Community College (MSCC) Research Teams


    New program that supports research teams from MSCCs to do research at small business sites across the country.

    • MSCCs include non-profit Historically Black Colleges, Hispanic-Serving Colleges, and Tribal Colleges whose highest degree awarded is the associate degree.

    • MSCC Research Teams must consist of at least one faculty member and one student. (Teams with additional students or faculty are encouraged)

    • The NSF Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Phase II grantee must request the supplemental funding to support the research team.

    • Faculty at MSCCs can search for small business sites to contact at

    Community college institutes cci department of energy nsf joint program

    Community College Institutes (CCI) - Department of Energy & NSF Joint Program

    • Paid internships in Science and Engineering and Technology for students from community colleges.

      • 10 week summer research with DOE laboratory scientists.

      • Career planning activities and numerous training and informational sessions.

      • Students must apply to DOE lab and be accepted before seeking NSF supplement.

      • Additional information is available at

    • Current grantees of some NSF/EHR programs may request supplemental funds – refer to the Dear Colleague Letter:

    Minority postdocs

    Minority Postdocs

    • Increase the number of research scientists from underrepresented groups

    • Awards for research and training

    • Applicants choose sponsoring scientist and provide research/training plan

    • 2-3 Year Awards

    • $50K/yr

    • $4K Travel Grant

    • $50K Starter Grant

    Minority postdoc applications and awards

    Minority Postdoc Applications and Awards

    Quality education for minorities qem proposal preparation workshops

    Quality Education for Minorities (QEM) Proposal Preparation Workshops

    • Focused on Faculty from Underrepresented Groups and those at Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs)

    • Three year award

    • Two workshops per year


    Broadening participation two new funding opportunities

    Broadening Participation Two New Funding Opportunities

    • Research Initiation Grants (RIG)

    • Career Advancement Awards (CAA)

    Rig caa


    • Who can apply?

      • U.S. citizens with doctorate or equivalent experience in a field supported by NSF

      • Underrepresented minority researchers and researchers at Minority Serving Institutions are especially encouraged to apply

    Proposal preparation

    RIG/CAA Provide

    Two year research awards for up to $150,000 with additional $25,000 for equipment


    • For PIs who have not had previous Federal Research Funding as PI or CoPI


    • For PIs who have received Federal Funding

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